Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

You did it! 21 days of fasting, 21 days of a daily devotion to God! Well done for beginning this new year with a focus on your spiritual health and your intimacy with Jesus. The fruit of this time will be felt in you for months ahead. Starting tomorrow you can break your fast, but our prayer for you is that you won’t break the habit you have now placed in your life. If you have been following this daily devotion regularly you are now used to taking some time in your day to read scripture, reflect, and pray. Don’t let that stop when you don’t receive these emails anymore! Keep the habit up and continue to open his word each day. If you need a suggestion on how to do this, start at the beginning of the book of Psalms and read one a day. That will get you through at least the next 150 days. Simple! Enjoy his word in your life – it is literally life-giving.

The passage today from Colossians is a great way for us to draw our 21-day devotion to a close. Paul mentions that two things are in us and working through us in our walk with Jesus – his peace, and his message. His peace gives us the assurance of his presence and the comfort of his love. His message dwells in us and brings rich fruit out of our lives, filling us with the wisdom we need to speak life into those around us, ministering to one another out of the revelation of his goodness to us. In both he reminds the church to do one thing – be thankful. He says it three times in these short verses – we are to be thankful, have gratitude in our hearts, and give thanks to the Father for all that Jesus has done. Thanksgiving is such an underrated spiritual discipline. Being thankful forces you to stop in the midst of your ‘doing’, reflect on the movements of God in your life, be conscious of them, and express your appreciation for them to God. Being thankful keeps you humble – it is a conscious acknowledgment that God has been at work, and that we need him. A thankful heart is a heart that is rooted in the reality of God’s goodness and presence. Thank him for your fast and your start to the year. And may the good work that God has started in you carry on until its full completion!

As you finish your fast today, what do you have to be thankful for in the last 21 days? What has God done in your heart, your life? Take a piece of paper and write out ten things you can be thankful for in the fast you have just done. Prayerfully read over the list, and celebrate the goodness of God in your life.

Father, thank you. Thank you for your involvement in my life. Thank you that you are God. Thank you that you care for me, know me by name, have formed me and shaped me, and that you love me. Thank you for your son Jesus, and thank you that you sustained me in my fast. Amen.